Tool vocalist Maynard James Keenan talked about his fondness of comedians and comedy acts, explaining to Beats 1 how the band actually tried to add comedy guys as part of their show, and utterly failed. The singer noted:
“Some of my earliest albums, along with those music albums, were Flip Wilson, Lily Tomlin, Red Skelton… I saw Red Skelton play in Michigan easily three or four times.”
And Bill Hicks? You guys actually hung with him?
“We were more phone friends than anything. We hung out a couple of times, so it was mainly like a lot of long conversations on the phone.
“A lot of it was just plans. We were trying to figure out a way in the early days of Tool to do a whole comedy thing on the road. Just after that, I got involved with Laura Milligan and Mike King – when Laura was doing her tantrum thing, where all the ‘Mr. Show’ guys came through and did a lot of stuff… A lot of people came through – Patton Oswald, Craig Anton, a lot of awesome names back in the day.
“But prior to that, it was Bill and I going, ‘How do we take your bit on the road and have you open? Tool does some songs, you do some more stuff, Tool does some more songs.’ It would be that kind of format.
“And we were right at the level where we could probably do that, but it was getting quickly to, ‘Yeah, I don’t think we can do that anymore because our fans are fucking vicious.’
“They actually had a whole bit – we did a show where we had Greg Berhendt and David Cross, the sports announcers, they started the whole show as it was half time getting a play-by-play. Like, ‘Maynard’s on his game tonight!’ Like full states. They’re up front doing the stage thing with the whole like jackets and everything, almost a halftime commentary although the show hasn’t even started.
“It’s David Cross and Greg Barendth, and they’re getting pelted with quarters. And time after that Tenacious D opened for us and got booed off the stage.”